Nigeria Declines in Mo Ibrahim Governance Index

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By Nume Ekeghe

The 2020 Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG) of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation has ranked Nigeria 34 out of 54 countries.

Precisely, the country scored 45.5 points out of 100, just as the West African country declined by -1.6 in overall governance

The report which was released during a virtual media briefing yesterday classified Nigeria amongst 13 other countries that the IIAG classified as ‘increasing deterioration,’ which was the lowest classification.

It indicated that the country has declined in their assessment, over the last 10 years, with the rate of decline increasing over the last five years.

The ranking was based on Security & Rule of Law, Participation, Rights & Inclusion Foundations for Economic Opportunity Human Development.

Commenting on the report, the Chairman of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, Mr. Mo Ibrahim said: “This is a testing time for Africa. Pre-existing weaknesses and challenges in African governance, as uncovered by the 2020 IIAG, are exacerbated by COVID-19, which also threatens economic progress. Citizens’ dissatisfaction and mistrust with governance delivery are growing. African states have an opportunity to demonstrate both their resolve to safeguard democracy and their ability to drive a new growth model that is more resilient, more equitable, more sustainable, and more self-reliant.”

Also commenting on further areas of concerns revealed in the report, the Head of Research at the Mo Ibrahim Foundation Ms. Camilla Rocca said a new section of the index which covers governance index from the perspective of African citizens indicated apprehensions.

She explained: “When we look at the data and what it says in relation to the public perception in overall governance and perception of citizens about the governance delivery in the countries shows that the continent is on a trend of deterioration.

“When we look at the data in 2019 the score of public perception of overall governance is the lowest of the last decade. We see a path of decline that has increased in space of decline since 2015.”

However, on common areas of progress in Africa, she said: “The main two areas of progress in the continent in the last five years have been foundations for economic opportunity and human development. These are the two drivers of progress of development in the continent and are the two categories that are trending the best in the whole index of governance in Africa.”

“And the three most improved are health infrastructure and sustainable environment.”

The new data delivered a clear warning that, “Governance progress in Africa has slowed since 2015, and declines for the first time in 2019. Deterioration in participation, rights, rule of law and security threaten improvements achieved in economic opportunities and human development. This is particularly concerning with the COVID-19 pandemic set to increase existing challenges.”

The report further stated: “This is a testing time for Africa. Pre-existing weaknesses and challenges in African governance, as uncovered by the 2020 IIAG, are exacerbated by COVID-19, which also threatens economic progress. Citizens’ dissatisfaction and mistrust with governance delivery are growing.

“African states have an opportunity to demonstrate both their resolve to safeguard democracy and their ability to drive a new growth model that is more resilient, more equitable, more sustainable, and more self-reliant.”